We have seen what happens when our societies are shut down – The need for digital engagement went from a “someday” thought for some organizations to figuring it out now. Patient engagements are going to need to be online not for the whole patient journey but at certain points along the journey.
Before the pandemic there was debate on the impact of consumerism on Hospitals, Doctors, Insurance companies and the government. This discussion has accelerated and there is little doubt that there needs to be more digital engagement in the form of experiences like BOTs, text Chats and importantly video, for patient, guidance, communication and education. Patients expect many of the same digital engagement options that they get in industries like retail and banking.
Yet, there are some unique factors that the pandemic has brought that’s necessary for healthcare organizations to fix. It has thrown a light on healthcare organizations ability to acquire new patients and keep the patients they currently have. While many healthcare organizations have been shut down for non-critical procedures this has led to a back log. This pent-up demand will lead to a wave of new procedures in the coming months.
All healthcare organizations must make sure they take a balanced view of value-based care vs. patient care. Healthcare organizations have been looking for processes and approaches that optimize both sides of the equation. All of these factors truly place a lot of time and effort on healthcare organizations. However, it also impacts the patients and their desires to ask questions, bring in family members for important decisions and make sure follow-ups are easily executed. That is where multi-experience engagements can have a tremendous impact – There is the obvious telemedicine advantages in using video. But there are so many other great ways to use digital engagement.
Simple things that are digital, easy and impactful are opportunities to use BOTs for FAQs and even to help cobrowse to relevant information. The impact of video for safety and convenience is now a necessary option for customers and an expectation. Patient engagements like text and messaging allow patients to easily communicate at their leisure and schedule. Digital engagements are now a must have and even more importantly expected in many cases.
The coronavirus hasn’t created new options for patients but has accelerated the need for patient digital engagements. Healthcare organizations need to ensure they have multi digital experiences for their patients to educate, schedule and converse with your organization while online. These experiences are not taking the place of “in person” visit when needed or required but help to enhance the patient journey.